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FMCSA Proposes Motor Carrier Passenger Safety Rules

FMCSA Proposes Motor Carrier Passenger Safety Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), with the help of the Safety Fitness Determination’s (SFD) Notice of Proposal Rulemaking (NPRM) draft, is going to be able to update its method for rating safety fitness of motor carriers. By analyzing on-road safety data from investigations, crash reports and inspections on a monthly basis, they will be able to determine a motor carrier’s safety fitness as a whole.

On the matter, U.S. Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said: “Ensuring that motor carriers are operating safely on our nation’s roadways is one of our highest priorities. Using all available information to achieve more timely assessments will allow us to better identify unsafe companies and get them off the road.”

For commercial motor carriers that are federally regulated, the tri ranked federal rating system of “satisfactory – conditional – unsatisfactory” currently in practice since 1982, will be replaced by the newly proposed SFD rule. According to the new system, all motor carriers operating under federal jurisdiction are obligated to undergo the evaluation, following which, every motor carrier in question will be declared either Fit or Unfit.

In case of the former, it can continue operating as before. However, a motor carrier deemed “unfit” would have to cease all operations with immediate effect. Furthermore, it will be forced to improve its state and undergo the assessment procedure all over again, before it can get the regulation department’s approval to begin operating on the roads again.

Scott Darling, the acting administrator of FMCSA, commented: “This update to our methodology will help the agency focus on carriers with a higher crash risk. Carriers that we identify as unfit to operate will be removed from our roadways until they improve.” If the new regulation is put into effect, the FMCSA will be allowed to evaluate the safety fitness of around 75,000 companies per month, compared to the previous 15,000 annually under the current policy.

FMCSA also said that according to approximate figures, with the new rule, fewer than three hundred motor carriers would be declared “unfit” exclusively, as a consequence of on-road safety violations with the new rule. Under the new SFD rule, the basis for a motor carrier to be deemed “unfit” will be the vehicle’s investigation information combined with the on-road safety data, performance and investigation results. – See more at:

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